USADA announced today that Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral (cycling team doctor), Dr. Michele Ferrari (cycling team consulting doctor) and Jose “Pepe” Martí (cycling team trainer) have all received lifetime periods of ineligibility as the result of their anti-doping rule violations in the United States Postal Service (USPS) Cycling Team Doping Conspiracy.


Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted?

How many years ago was this?
Do any of these guys still working in the cycling scene?(with a team), not with individual's who may seek their advice  3


mattbibbings [81 posts] 5 years ago

I can see Lifetime bans becoming the norm for drug offences in the future. I know the BOA has been forced to overturn it's rulings on British athletes but we now live in comparitivly enlightend times. Cycling in particular has grown up and admitted it has a problem. There can be literally no excuse for an athlete to use banned substances to cheat now (not that I think there was ever a valid excuse!).

I for one would welcome it. Are people allowed mistakes? Sure, but I don't class choosing to cheat as a 'mistake'.

Of course, the flip side of this is I truly respect David Millar for the work he has done in trying to actively promote clean cycling and I will be cheering for him at the Olympics. He wouldn't have had the chance to do as good a job as he has done in recent years if he had been handed a lifetime ban (from the UCi). But like I say,it's different times now than then.

Raleigh [1667 posts] 5 years ago

I say, let the punishment fit the crime.

Clearly, some riders are coerced into doping, others, like Riccio (or whatever his name is) for example do it completely of their own accord.

Where whole teams are doing organised doping, I think we need a different kind of punishment, its unfair to the sponsors (unless they were pressuring the team to dope for results) to ban the whole team, as they're paying for positive publicity, and if they don;t get it, they'll stop paying.

daddyELVIS [654 posts] 5 years ago

Case by case basis.

I think there should be scope to ban for longer than 2 years, but I don't think all cases can be treated the same.

There has been substance-taking in cycling since racing began, with some soigneurs in the days of Bartali & Coppi behaving almost like witch-doctors with their lotions and potions. The top cyclists were always trying to find out what each other were taking, and what 'mixture' was in their bottle - trying to get the edge.

So it's been a part of cycling as long as shaving legs has been a part of cycling, and moving away from that will take time.

Handing out a lifetime ban to a young kid who's been told that everyone's doing it (and that if he does it right he won't get caught) won't suddenly clean up cycling or any other sport for that matter (just like the death penalty doesn't stop crime).

Great work from pros inside the peloton, and teams such as Garmin who have their own internal testing programme, is the way forward (I believe the UCI is going to make all the top teams run internal testing). Of course if Wiggo wins the Tour, that really will go a long way to showing the young riders coming through what can be achieved as a 'clean' rider.

Also, perhaps a look at the doping rule-book is needed - when did anyone last question exactly what should be considered doping? Replacing lost nutrients, minerals & vitamins is fine (although this can no longer be done hyperdermically). During a stage race as gruelling as the Tour, is it in the rider's best interests to not allow replacement or at least encourage production of hormones which are abnormally low due to the stress that the body has been put through? I'm not saying this should be ok, just throwing it out there as an example that anti-doping rules may not always be in the best interest of the cyclist.

russyparkin [570 posts] 5 years ago

yeah case by case. dont know what pressures are put on young people by big hard team owners.

repeat offenders though.. that should be scaled up bans like 10 years plus